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Author's Chapter Notes:
I hope that blowing up candles is aninternational habit.
I'm sorry for all possible mistakes. I'm still fighting with English.(my English is a mix of American and Britsh)
I hope you'll survive it.
Enjoy the story!
Jarod got up. A strange noise awoke him. He went to the kitchen and found Emily there trying to take something out the cupboard. There were shards on the floor. She broke something.
“Jarod, I’m sorry. Did I awake you?”
“It doesn’t matter. But tell me what are you doing here?” said he while he was helping her.
He has reunited with his father and sister a few months ago. Because his sister wanted to live with her boyfriend they decided to separate again. Jarod and Mayor Charles lived together and Emily visited them.
“I can’t tell you, it’s a surprise.”
“And why did you bring candles and a cake and balloons?”
“Jarod, you have spoilt it!”
“Emily, tell him it,” said Mayor Charles, who’s just came to the kitchen.
“It’s your birthday today.”
“What?”
Jarod looked surprised and pleased. He couldn’t believe it. He wondered why he didn’t ask them before. His date of birth meant another column in his faking documents until today. He sat on sofa and stared at wall lost in his thoughts.
“Are you OK Jarod?” Mayor Charles cared.
“Yes, I am. It’s a new feeling for me.”
“We’ll celebrate it in the evening. Ethan’s buying some gifts and Emily made a cake.”
“Thanks. I regret Mum can’t be with us.”
“We all do Jarod,” said Emily sadly, “but can’t spend all time by regret. I’m sorry to say it, but we must live.”
“You’re right sis. Have nice day.”
“And happy birthday Jarod.”

***

“Hey Jarod don’t sleep here!”
“I’m sorry I was thinking. Sidney what are they doing?”
“They’re celebrating the birthday of chairman’s daughter.”
“So it’s Miss Parker’s birthday today … Sidney when are my birthday?”
“I don’t know.”
“How do you know about my age then?”
I know how many years you have spent here. And now stop talking. Let’s concentrate on this project.”

“I thought you won’t come.”
“I was busy.”
“Tell me rather something bout your birthday. Why do people celebrate it? How do they celebrate it?”
“You’re curious as usual/”
“I’m interested in things I can’t do.”
“People celebrate that they survived another year. At a birthday party, there is birthday cake with candles. You have to wish something and blow out the candles. And then you get gifts. I got some shoes dress and a car, cause I’m sixteen. However Daddy still thinks I’m a child.”
“What did you wish Miss Parker?” asked Jarod her and started to do something with papers.
“I wished to be with Mum. When are your birthday Jarod?”
“I don’t know.”
“That’s strange. Why didn’t your parents tell you?”
This question hurt him a lot.
“I have no parents. I don’t remember them and they’re dead both, not only a mother.”
“I’m so sorry; I didn’t realize how much it hurts you.”
“I am accustomed. Look. I made something for you while we were talking.”
He gave her a beautiful paper rose.
“Happy birthday, Miss Parker. I think that people celebrate that they spent another year with people they love. I envy you that you have someone.”

He couldn’t sleep. He was dreaming of his birthday with his family he didn’t know. He was sure that wish would be similar as Miss Parker’s – to be with his family.

***

“Good morning Prodigy.”
Miss Parker’s voice was angry, as usual.
“Can’t you be nice at me one day?”
“Is there any reason why to do it?”
“I have birthday today.”
“I’ll tell Sidney to make a birthday party for you. I’m sure Angelo will give you a PEZ with new flavor.”
“What are you hiding behind your sarcasm? A fear? Are you afraid you won’t be able to bring me back?”
She hang up. She looked in her handbag at a paper rose. Angelo gave it to her in the morning and now she understood.
“Broots? That phone number was wrong.”

***

When was Jarod coming back from his job, he stopped on a porch of his house. There was a letter on his window.

Jarod,
You have changed me. I was ready to bring you back with smile, tell you “Happy birthday” and then shoot you, but I found myself unable to do it. I’m not able to hurt you this way. It’s your fault. I don’t know what have you done with me, but I am another.
I’m going to tell them that you weren’t here. You’ll have three days at least. I’m not going to help you; this is just a gift for you.
Don’t let me catch you.
Parker.
P.S.: Sidney will call you later. I had to tell him.

Jarod thanked her. Freedom was a great gift

***

Margaret lighted a candle and looked at its little flame – her glimmer of hope. She was safe now but she still didn’t know anything about her family.
“What has happened Sister Margaret?” asked her an older woman.
“My older son has a birthday today,” answered her.
Mother superior was very old and she has still remembered the day when Catherine Parker brought Margaret here. The convent was, as Catherine said, the sanctuary which will be always here for all dark and hopeless days. Mother knew what happened to Margaret’s family. Margaret came here recently and without Catherine. She was desperate because she’s disunited with her husband and later with her daughter. She knew nothing about Catherine who was probably dead.
“I am sure you will find your family. You must believe.”
“My belief is the only thing which has remained me. I’m lighting candles at their birthdays but I don’t know if their alive.”
“They are alive Margaret. God is protecting them. Shall I leave you alone?”
“Thank you, Mother.”
Margaret stayed alone in the chapel. She didn’t cry, she wept out many tears before. She just hoped and prayed. There’s always a hope.
“Happy birthday my dear son, wherever you are,” whispered she.

***

The dinner with his family was fantastic.
Emily brought a cake with candles.
“Jarod you have to wish something and blow up all the candles,” said him with a big smile.
Jarod looked at empty chairs they left for Kyle and Margaret. Some things in his life has changed and some things stayed same.
He took a deep breath and tried to blow up candles. And his wish was still the same as many years sgo.











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